As part of my goal of helping to turn Georgia blue I've begun to focus on the data relevant to pursuing a 159 county electoral strategy. These are just a few notes. I'd appreciate any suggestions, corrections, etc. I'm writing this particular diary to motivate myself to do a proposal for turning Cobb blue.
I've lived in Cobb County for a few years now. The part of the county I live in, south Cobb, is already Democratic. Countywide Cobb has been solidly Republican in recent years, but like many of the metro counties closest to the city of Atlanta (Fulton, Dekalb, Cobb, Gwinnett, Clayton, Douglas, Rockdale, Henry) demographic trends have been favorable to Democrats. Of the counties I've listed Dekalb, Clayton, Douglas, and Rockdale seem to have tipped significantly blue, Fulton is divided between blue south and red north, and Cobb, Gwinnett and Henry are still red but demograpics are chipping away at that steadily (I haven't pulled together historic trends yet, particularly for Henry, but all three of those counties are obviously less white than they were twenty years ago).
Here are a few of the numbers I've come up with so far. At the moment I've been looking at the Secretary of State's election summary for the county and the U.S. Census Bureau's Quick Facts for the county.
The overall population is 697,533
Non-Hispanic whites 56% (so it's 1% whiter than the state as a whole at the moment)
Black persons 25.9%
The county's 2012 presidential election results were:
Romney 55.42% (171,722 votes)
Obama 42.96% (133,124 votes)
Gary Johnson (1.62% 5,024)
Registered Voters: 415,314
Ballots Cast: 311,245
Voter Turnout: 74.94 %
Total number of precincts 153
As I drill down further into the numbers some of the things I'd like to figure out are:
How many eligible voters are not registered. Where those unregistered voters are. The turnout in various areas of the county. What sort of GOTV efforts are already in place. The demographic projections for various areas of the county. How active the Democratic Party apparatus is in the county, and whether they have an aggressive strategy for contesting the county.
Hell, there's a lot I still need to know. There are two aspects of turning the county blue. One is maxing out the vote of people already inclined to vote Democratic. The other is to convince populations who should be voting Democratic but are currently voting Republican to switch allegiance. I need to know the county in a lot more detail to focus those goals.